29 January 2018
The main diving areas in Cambodia are around the nearer islands like Koh Rong, Koh Rong Saloem and Koh Koun (Kon) - which are good for macro diving. Further north is Koh Totang in the Koh S’Dach Archipelago. The best dives are further out - Koh Tang and Koh Prins and the more distant Poulo Wai.
There is an enormous variety of macro-life. The diving around the islands closer to shore reflects this and tends to be fairly shallow - 10-15 m max. Further out there are deeper pinnacles, wrecks and a greater number of pelagics and larger fish.
The US dollar is the main currency used in Cambodia. ATMs are available in Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville, Siem Reap and in some other major towns. Not all of them accept foreign debit and credit cards though - check with your bank before you go.
When to dive Cambodia? You can dive throughout the year but November and May are both excellent months to go - quieter than peak season but with good weather. The Water temperature is always warm, around 28 oC for much of the time. The dry season is from November to May. During the wet season it mostly rains in the afternoon.
Most visits to Cambodia are trouble-free, but there have been incidents of tourists having their bags snatched in the tourist areas of Sihanoukville and nearby islands. Emergency numbers in Cambodia are 117 for police and 119 for ambulance. Make sure you take adequate travel insurance.
Tourist visas are available on arrival at the Phnom Penh or Siem Reap international airports, for $30. You will need a passport photograph. You can also get an eVisa online before you travel. Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months.
Diving in Cambodia was wonderful. It's not as awe inspiring as some places as the viz was not so good, but I love macro and I've never seen so much on one dive before.
Lots of fish and make this a great dive. Average dive time 60 to 70 min.
Very beautiful coral garden to 18 meters. Vis is usually in the 15 to 20 meter range Sometimes better in the rainy season up to 40 meters."
The best time to dive the Koh Sdach Archipelago is November and May. The peak season is from January until Mid April. The second week of July brings in the monsoon season and for this reason diving is sometimes limited due to the weather in the months of July/August/September.
August and September too are wet months and although diving in these months come with their own charm; generally these months offer slightly reduced visibility and rougher seas than the peak periods.
With water temperatures not dropping below 27°C and averaging 29°C, diving here is extremely comfortable and enjoyable to learn. Visibility in our surrounding waters can vary from 10m-40m depending on the site and the season. Currents can range from nothing to strong and are completely dependent on the dive site and the tides.
There are dive sites suited for all levels of divers; however some of the best ones require an advanced level of certification.
James Vervoort, Koh Kong Divers,
One of the best diving spot in Cambodia : 30m+ visibility at 10-40m depth, an unusual natural "architecture", the scenery is presenting huge rectangle rocks which seem to have been built, terraces, mini walls and 1 arch… This reef has been the place where different ships sunk. Professional divers, treasure hunters, located a few ship wrecks that have now been all salvaged but a few pieces remain a huge anchor and skeleton remains of a ship lie of the eastern side of the site. Though flora is quiet rare, you will see Reef sharks, Turtles, a lot of Moray Eels and Whale Sharks frequently visit the area. Not to be missed if weather conditions allow this trip.."
James Vervoort, Koh Kong Divers, 2010
A rocky island popping out of the middle of the ocean lies north west of the archipelago, the waters surrounding the island have amazing visibility all year round, and there is always lots to see on this site. The island got its name from the black tip reef sharks that live off of the north west point.
James Vervoort, Koh Kong Divers, 2010
Offer day diving trips to the islands of Koh Rong, Koh Rong Samleum and Koh Koun, overnight trips to Koh Rong Samleum, bio-fluorescent night dives and liveaboards to Koh Tang, Koh Prins and the far off Koh Poulo Wai.
Serendipity Beach Rd
Tel: +855(0) 92749772
Tel: 012 654 104
International 855 12 654 104
" EcoSea Dive: Converted 2 deck Khmer Boat comfortable with room to walk around. Lots of sun and shade with western style facilities. Best value for the money in Cambodia only $59 this includes professional dive guides, small groups and everything you will need including name brand scuba diving equipemnt. Your best bet to go out diving. Singles are not a problem. One diver and they go. There are no diveable wrecks in Cambodia, they have all been chopped up and sold as scrap iron. "
Dive Koh Tas, Koh Kon, Koh Rong Saloem, Koh Tang and Koh Prins
18 Eo Sothearos Blvd
Serendipity Beach Road
Based on Koh Sdach they dive the Koh Sdach Archipelago plus the outer reefs of Condor and Shark Island.
Koh Kong Province
Kiri Sakor District
Tel: +855(0)86 41 33 80 or +855(0)86 41 24 32
- Coral Reef Fishes, Indo-Pacific and Caribbean
- by Ewald Lieske and Robert Myers, Harper Collins, 400 Pages, Paperback
An excellent, comprehensive guide to reef fishes, which is small and light enough to pack regardless of amount of diving equipment. Highly recommended for anyone wanting to identify the fish they see whilst diving the tropics.
Read the full review...
- Cambodia Travel Guide (Lonely Planet)
- Range of Lonely Planet Books and e-Books about Cambodia.